An update from our CEO and Founder……
As we pass the 3 week mark since we had to close down our daily drop in sessions and services, the pace of change in how we live, work and connect has continued.
What has also continued is the courage, strength and selflessness of the frontline, our NHS staff and many working across our sector to make sure that people who are most vulnerable during this awful situation are given the best possible support. As someone who has both received support from charities and worked in the sector, I have always known the true value of these amazing heroes, and now the world does too.
Make no mistake, we are in a crisis and it’s a terrible time for all of us, and the safety and wellbeing of our neighbours, friends and those we haven’t even met remains paramount. We need to act with caution, respecting our government guidelines (and sticking to them) and use common sense at all times as we live our daily lives.
The daily allowance for exercise feels like a real privilege in today’s world and it is important for us to try (if capable) to use this time to support our health & wellbeing.
Its hard to be positive in such a crisis, knowing that peoples lives are at risk every day and that families and people across the country are losing their livelihoods due the impact on jobs and the economy. I do believe however there is always room for optimism, even in the most challenging of times. Our sense of community is back, we are chatting to neighbours we sometimes ignored or took for granted. We now, more than ever, appreciate our friends and family and will cherish time spent together going forward. We have also seen the pace in which governments and services can change policy and support measures for those in the greatest of need, such as homelessness, all of this I hope will make our communities, our cities and our world, a better place to live.
Here at Street Soccer, our tagline since 2009 has been Positive Change Through Football. This has been temporarily changed to Positive Change WITHOUT Football during COVID-19.
As an organisation who built their theory of change around group based activity and support, the government restrictions has effectively written off our main programmes.
However, our team have adapted, reshaped and innovated to create a package of support for our players and family, which aims to make sure people are SAFE, SECURE, HEALTHY and CONNECTED.
In the past three weeks our teams response to COVID-19 has been exceptional, putting players (as always) are the heart of their decision making and actions. I couldn’t be more proud of them.
In the past three weeks our team have worked hard to provide a range of personalised services for our players including things such as:
- Provision of Food and Supplies and we have a catering facility now open to provide cooked meals
- Provision of Smart Phones and Data Packages to ensure our players are connected
- Delivery of Pet Food and Supplies to players with Pets
- Hosted live Street Soccer Sessions (Fitness and Football) on Zoom
- Been in regular contact by phone or text to players
- Launched an 0800 Hotline for players to reach out on
- Provided a range of online support sessions such as Recovery based group sessions
- Created chat groups for players to socialise
- Arranged emergency transportation where needed
- Worked alongside other charities to support outcomes for players
Our response will continue to change over the coming weeks, but our commitment to the people we serve wont.
We have a huge gratitude to our partners and supporters for their flexibility and help during this time, and we hope to recognise this in the weeks ahead.
We would also like to give a massive salute, to our friends in other organisations and charities, who like ourselves are doing the best they can, they inspire us.
More updates to follow, but in the meantime, stay safe, stay home and have hope.
Best as always